It’s been said that Sir Stirling Moss’s accident at Goodwood was the crash that saved his life. The logic is that had his racing career not effectively ended in 1962, when he was still in his early thirties, he would – given his all-or-nothing racing style – have likely come a cropper in the unforgiving years that followed, not of his doing but through some combination of others’ errors, car frailty or trackside dangers
If that’s so, perhaps we should take some comfort from that terrible day when Moss’s Lotus careered into the bank during the Glover Trophy. It gifted the world nearly 60 more years of one of the greats, not just of the track but of this country, too.
There were other wonderful drivers and brilliant men from that era – Jim Clark, of course, Graham Hill, John Surtees – but none represent so much of what is great about motor racing quite like Mr Motor Racing himself. His name became a byword for speed. He set the template for what a modern racing driver was. Even in old age, he invented the most debonair of things – a retired racing driver.